Kyle Ryde 2019 GP2 Champion
Kyle has this weekend been at the 9th round of the British Motorcycle GP2 Championship which has taken him and his Kovara Projects by RS Racing team, for the second time this season to the beautiful Cheshire circuit of Oulton Park.
This circuit has built in natural contours and a combination of stunning scenery and spectacular racing make it one of the most picturesque and best-loved circuits for racers and spectator’s alike.
Kyle can and is; hoping to become the British GP2 Champion here this weekend, as up and till this weekend’s races he has won 14 out of 16 starts in this class, which is no mean feat by any rider’s standards.
Free Practice 1, 2
Free practice 1 saw Kyle put in 11 laps of this beautiful Cheshire circuit and as always was up at the front during this 30 minute session. However; the other GP2 riders weren’t going to let Kyle rule the roost and achieve his overall Championship win so easy. So as the 30 minute session drew to a close Mason Law was the quickest GP2 rider in third place overall and Jack Scott was in 6th place behind Kyle, so Mason Law was going to prove to be a thorn in Kyle’s side all weekend.
Free practise 2 saw slightly damper conditions and the riders were a bit reluctant to come out until the conditions improved. So it was around the 12 minutes remaining mark of this 30 minute session that Kyle came out on track and again it was Mason Law who was pushing Kyle in order to improve his lap times, Kyle finished 2nd on the Leader board by the end of the second of the free practise sessions.
Saturday’s qualifying session was on a much improved drier circuit to the Fridays free practise times. So Kyle was going out all guns blazing in order to achieve a good slot on the grid for the later Sprint race and hopefully be the first to be a 2019 Champion.
Yet again it was Mason Law who was looking to show that he too is as good as Kyle on a GP2 machine and with 8 minutes to go of the qualifying session he was on the front row ousting Kyle to a second row start. But Kyle’s not one to sit on his laurels and in the few remaining minutes managed to grab back from Law; that front row start that he so desperately needed in order to get a good start for the later sprint race. Kyle qualified 3rd behind the two veterans of Kennedy & Seeley, whilst his latest GP2 rival Law was back on the second row in fourth.
Sprint Race (Saturday)
This was to be a make or break day for Kyle & the Team. After putting in such a good qualifying time as he did, Kyle was looking to take a win and was confident that his pace could match that of the two front runners Kennedy & Seeley.
As the lights went out Kyle thought he had the ‘Hole-shot’ but he missed a gear and was dropping back in the pack, with Seeley taking an early lead and Kennedy in hot pursuit.
So by the end of lap one it was Seeley, Kennedy, Jones, Law and then Kyle, so his latest GP2 rival was again showing Kyle his heels. By lap 5 of this 12 lap race Kyle had got the better of Law on the other GP2 machine and was now in hot pursuit of the leading pack and it was on this lap that he set the overall fastest lap of the race, with a 1 minute.37.330 second lap.
On the following lap Kyle managed to get his machine in front of Seeley’s and was now up to third looking to close in on Jones, Kennedy by this stage was opening up a good lead at the front, so the best Kyle could look for was a second place.
Kyle made a slight mistake at the hairpin and Seeley as any old veteran would do; took advantage of this and got past Kyle again and started to make up positions by also taking second place from Jones. This was how the race positions held and Kyle came home in a good strong fourth place overall, but 1st place in the GP2 category, to take home the 2019 British GP2 Championship and to be the first rider of the season to take a Championship title crown.
Feature Race (Sunday)
Now even though Kyle had won the GP2 Championship the day before, he isn’t one to just sit back and think that’s it for this season. No! Kyle wanted to go out and win this second race of the weekend as any good racer would. So; being that he was sitting on Pole position on the grid due to the previous day’s fastest lap, he was certainly in a good position to achieve this.
With the Lights out Kyle got the ‘Hole-shot’ but it wasn’t to last as by the end of the first lap, the Integro Yamaha of Brad Jones had got in front, then Kyle and Kennedy, Seeley & Law in hot pursuit. By lap five Jones & Kyle were still holding on to the two front slots, but little did they know that behind them; firstly Seeley clipped the kerb and flipped his bike several times, whilst Kennedy almost ran into the back of Kyle, as it appeared that there could have been some fluid on the track and caused both riders to have a moment, Kennedy came off the worst by crashing out all together.
Lap six saw the Safety car come out as Seeley required urgent medical attention, so this break allowed all the riders to bunch up and after a couple of laps the race was back on! As the pack raced over the start line Kyle & Brad Jones were joined by Westmorland & Law, but by the next lap Kyle had managed to overall Jones again and the pair where opening a good gap on the other two leading riders. This continued till the final laps and Jones never did manage to pass Kyle back, so not only had Kyle won the GP2 Championship he also had yet another overall race and having around a 15bhp deficit, was no mean feat!!